top of page

177. Navigating Human Ethics: The Evolution and Universality of the Moral Compass


In this blog post, we will be examining the theories presented by William Search in his books "Why" and "Conversations with chatGPT: Exploring the Theory of Morality and Existence." We will discuss the foundation of human ethics, the impact of changes in higher education, and the concept of a universal moral compass.

The Foundation of Human Ethics: Nature vs. Nurture

Our moral compass is a complex interplay between innate instincts and learned experiences. It is a product of our evolutionary development, molded by our life experiences and choices.

Indeed, our ethics are both natural and learned. Our innate moral compass has been honed through evolution, while personal experiences shape and refine it throughout our lives. Thus, the basis of our moral compass is a fusion of our evolved instincts and the lessons we gain from our experiences.

Higher Education and the Shift in Moral Emphasis

The change in focus in higher education, from teaching about how the world is to no longer emphasizing how people ought to be, has had a profound impact on society's moral understanding.

This shift has created a disconnect between comprehending the world and grasping our moral values. Consequently, society may experience a loss of direction and purpose in terms of moral behavior, leading to moral confusion and an absence of clear guidelines for decision-making and action. Ultimately, this can have a negative effect on society's overall moral compass.

The Universality of Moral Compasses

Moral compasses are our means of differentiating between proper and improper intentions, decisions, and actions. They are often based on a set of principles or standards derived from specific philosophies, religions, cultures, or personal beliefs. These guiding principles help individuals determine what is right or wrong. The question arises, however, whether a moral compass should be universally applicable.

The Spectrum of Moral Development

While it's tempting to argue for the universality of moral compasses, it's essential to recognize that individuals are at different stages of spiritual or personal growth. Thus, not all moral compasses should be considered universal. However, having a more advanced moral compass is preferable to having a less developed one. For instance, the moral compass of a Buddhist monk might be deemed superior to that of a member of organized crime.

Toward Universal Moral Principles

Despite the differences in individual moral compasses, certain universal moral principles should be upheld, such as respect for others, kindness, and fairness. These principles may be rooted in various philosophies, religions, and cultures, but they are crucial for fostering a just and compassionate society.

The goal should be to strive for a higher and more evolved moral compass, rather than settling for a lower or less developed one. By doing so, we can work toward creating a world that embraces universal moral principles and promotes the well-being of all its inhabitants.


William Search's exploration of morality and human existence provides a thought-provoking look at the complexities of our moral compasses. By understanding the interplay between nature and nurture, the impact of changes in higher education, and the potential for universal moral principles, we can better comprehend the intricacies of human morality and work toward a more ethical and compassionate world.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page